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train or car travel in italy itinerary advice

train or car travel in italy itinerary advice

Old May 25th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 258
train or car travel in italy itinerary advice

This site has been fantastic for info in planning our trip to Europe...but need some more please!
This is our suggested itinerary but we are open to suggestions from those who've "been there done that." ( family of 4 with teens)

Rome 7 days (inc day trip to Pompeii)
Travel Rome to Florence
Florence 3days ( side trip Sienna, Tuscany countryside)
Travel Florence to Venice
3 days Venice ( side trip to Verona)

Then fly Venice to Paris ( Ryanair) to begin Paris stay of 5 days.

Is this itinerary the best use of our time with about 14 days to spend Italy and France?

Is it better to travel between cities by train or car or combination of both bearing in mind there are 4 of us. Have looked at the Trenitalia website but have been a bit spooked about booking train travel after reading of impending train strikes as accommodation would be pre booked and a cancelled train would be disastrous! Do trains have to be booked in advance?

Would really appreciate all input, thanks!

lavender is offline  
Old May 25th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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First of all, I'm having a little bit of trouble with the arithmetic: 7 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 5 do not come to a total of 14...

Leaving that aside, I would suggest that you reverse the order of the Italian cities (unless you are already familiar with them): Rome is very intense and demanding; starting in Venice would allow you to adapt more slowly.

I love Rome dearly, but I would suggest that you take one day away from Rome (and Pompeii) and add it to either Florence (if you are very interested in Renaissance art and architecture) or Venice (because it is a beautiful and unique city).

Trains on the routes that you will be travelling are frequent and you can probably book the day before you travel, by which time any impending strike would have been announced. Strikes are a well known fact of life in Italy, and if you called the hotel to tell them that you will arrive a day late because of a strike, I do not think that the hotel would charge you for the cancelled night. Eurostar train tickets include a seat reservation, and you can buy them at a travel agency.

But with four people it might be worth your while to add up what the train fares would cost and look into car rental fees. Whether you start in Rome or in Venice, you would only want to rent the car from the day you leave one until the day you arrive in the other. Or, put more simply, you do not need -- or want -- a car while you are in Rome or in Venice.
Eloise is offline  
Old May 25th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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OOPS! meant to say 14 days approx Italy!
Thanks for your tips Eloise

Have to commence Italy trip in Rome because that's where we are already committed to flying into.
lavender is offline  
Old May 25th, 2005, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Lavender - Whether Rome first is a good idea or not might well depend on your travel style. Personally, I like to do the big, bustling cities first when I have the most energy. And I lover the wind-down of slower places just before re-entry into reality.

Eloise is obviously a pro about Italy, but if you're committed to Rome first, you'll love it anyway, I think.
Worktowander is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 01:40 AM
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Lavender, I think your itinerary sounds great, especially with teens! I would change one thing...Pompeii is a bit far for a day-trip from Rome. Consider 5 days in Rome, then 2 days near Pompeii (Naples or Sorrento), as a better base for seeing Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius if you want. Don't try to include the entire Amalfi coast and Capri. (Do be extra careful in Naples, several taxi drivers and a tour guide told us to be more cautious around Naples because of so many pickpockets.)

Then you can get the train from Naples to Florence. 3 days in Florence is good. My teens and I just wanted to escape from Florence, it was extremely crowded and smoggy and jammed with traffic during our visit last June, even at 11:00 pm the Ponte Vecchio was still jammed with people! But there is a lot of renaissance art in florence, it's the birthplace of the renaissance. Unfortunately florence is a compact city and doesn't hold the crowds comfortably.

Back to the subject of Rome first. Your teens will start out your vacation excited and full of energy. Perfect way to start Rome. Do choose a centrally located hotel, in an atmospheric neighborhood, where you can walk to some of the major sights and to fun ristorantes. Staying near the Pantheon is a great location and central.

Don't overplan your days in rome. Definitely plan some of those days, but leave the last day in rome as spontaneous free-choice day. My teens loved this, the whoel family did. Actually rome was our favorite place in Italy!

3 days in Venice is good, you won't need the side-trip to Verona I don't think. If you buy the 3-day vaporetto pass for 22 euros each you'll get unlimited on and off privileges on the vaporettos, which also go to the little islands including murano and burano.

buon viaggio!
Melissa5 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 02:54 AM
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Nice trip. Use the trains and buy all of your tickets when in Rome--no need for advance tickets. Frankly, I would steal 2 days from Rome and get a car for 3 days after Florene and spend 3 nites in Tuscany. Then, you can drive to Venice and save the hassle and cost of 4 train tickets.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 06:25 AM
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Hi L,

A few thoughts:

Visiting Pompeii from Rome is a verrry loooong day. Overnighting in Naples or Sorrento is a good idea.

Ryaniar flies from Venice Treviso to Paris Beauvais. Neither airport is convenient to its city.

You can fly from Naples to Paris Orly or CDG. See www.whichbudget.com

You might want to consider:

Arrive Rome and immediately train to Venice (4:33 hr to relax on train), train to Florence, Train to Rome, Train to Naples, Fly to Paris.

I do note, however, that Ryanair has rates as low as 0.01E + 17E tax.

ira is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Just drove all over Italy a few weeks ago...four of us in a mid size station wagon. couldn't imagine any other way to travel. you wake up and your car is right there, no delays, train scheduling hassles, other people...stop and see what you want, when you want. definitely get out of Rome sooner and tour the umbrian and tuscan countryside.
geezer123 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Thanks so much for all your great suggestions, I was worried that a trip to Pompeii was a bit long. Kids are really keen to vist there. Any recommendations on best ( budget) place to base ourselves overnight when there?

I like the idea of travelling straight to Florence/ Tuscany then -
either train to Florence, 1 or 2 nights then car in countryside before travelling onto Venice. Has anyone previously compared the cost of car rental to train tickets for this kind of trip?

Thanks for the tip about airport in Paris. Not sure what to do about that.
Any idea what the transfer cost would be to Paris?

Also, a long shot maybe, but has anyone stayed at the studio apartment Savelli in Rome?

Thanks again for all your wonderful advice.

lavender is offline  
Old May 27th, 2005, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi L,

>Has anyone previously compared the cost of car rental to train tickets for this kind of trip? <

Of course.

You will find ticket prices at www.trenitalia.com.

Click on "discounts and promotions" for the trains you want. The kids get a discount.

Use www.novarentacar.com and www.autoeurope.com for car rental rates.

Have a great trip.

ira is offline  
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